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2014 Standings
After Toronto
Driver Standings

Driver Standings
1 Helio Castroneves 533
2 Will Power 520
3 Ryan Hunter-Reay 464
4 Simon Pagenaud 462
5 Juan Pablo Montoya 428
6 Scott Dixon 387
7 Carlos Munoz (R) 384
8 Tony Kanaan 380
9 Marco Andretti 375
10 Sebastien Bourdais 358
11 Ryan Briscoe 344
12 James Hinchcliffe 330
13 Charlie Kimball 317
14 Justin Wilson 311
15 Mikhail Aleshin 298
16 Josef Newgarden 288
17 Jack Hawksworth (R) 287
18 Graham Rahal 266
19 Carlos Huertas (R) 265
20 Takuma Sato 234
21 Sebastian Saavedra 229
22 Mike Conway 218
23 Ed Carpenter 168
24 Oriol Servia 88
25 Kurt Busch (R) 80
26 JR Hildebrand 66
27 Sage Karam (R) 57
28 Luca Filippi 46
29 James Davison (R) 34
30 Jacques Villeneuve 29
31 Alex Tagliani 28
32 Townsend Bell 22
33 Pippa Mann 21
34 Martin Plowman (R) 18
35 Buddy Lazier 11
36 Franck Montagny 8

Rookie of the Year
1 Carlos Munoz 384
2 Mikhail Aleshin 298
3 Jack Hawksworth 287
4 Carlos Huertas 265
5 Kurt Busch 80
6 Sage Karam 57
7 James Davison 34
8 Martin Plowman 18

T1 Ryan Hunter-Reay 3
T2 Will Power 2
T2 Simon Pagenaud 2
T2 Mike Conway 2
T5 Helio Castroneves 1
T5 Carlos Huertas 1
T5 Ed Carpenter 1
T5 Juan Pablo Montoya 1
T5 Sebastien Bourdais 1

Podium Finishes
T1 Will Power 6
T1 Helio Castroneves 6
3 Ryan Hunter-Reay 5
4 Tony Kanaan 4
T5 Carlos Munoz 3
T5 Juan Pablo Montoya 3
T7 Marco Andretti 2
T7 Simon Pagenaud 2
T7 Mike Conway 2
T10 Carlos Huertas 1
T10 Scott Dixon 1
T10 Josef Newgarden 1
T10 Graham Rahal 1
T10 Charlie Kimball 1
T10 Ed Carpenter 1
T10 Jack Hawksworth 1
T10 Mikhail Aleshin 1
T10 Sebastien Bourdais 1
Manufacturer Standings:
1 Chevrolet 2056
2 Honda 1042

Lap Leaders:
1 Will Power 353
2 Tony Kanaan 326
3 Helio Castroneves 241
4 Ryan Hunter-Reay 167
5 Ed Carpenter 116
6 Juan Pablo Montoya 74
7 Takuma Sato 67
8 Sebastien Bourdais 60
9 Simon Pagenaud 59
10 James Hinchcliffe 56
11 Scott Dixon 44
12 Jack Hawksworth 32
13 Justin Wilson 25
14 Marco Andretti 22
T15 Mike Conway 15
T15 Josef Newgarden 15
17 Sebastian Saavedra 14
18 Graham Rahal 10
T19 Oriol Servia 7
T19 Carlos Huertas 7
21 Ryan Briscoe 5
22 Mikhail Aleshin 4
23 Alex Tagliani 3

Entrant Points
Pos. # Entrant Points
1 3 Team Penske 533
2 12 Team Penske 520
3 28 Andretti Autosport 464
4 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports 462
5 2 Penske Motorsports 428
6 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing 387
7 20 Ed Carpenter Racing 386
8 34 Andretti Autosport/HVM 384
9 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing 380
10 25 Andretti Autosport 375
11 11 KVSH Racing 358
12 8 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing 344
13 27 Andretti Autosport 330
14 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing 317
15 19 Dale Coyne Racing 311
16 7 Schmidt PetersonMotorsports 298
17 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing 288
18 98 BHA/BBM with Curb-Agajanian 287
19 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 266
20 18 Dale Coyne Racing 265
21 14 A.J. Foyt Racing 234
22 17 KV/AFS Racing 229
23 16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 134
24 26 Andretti Autosport 88
25 21 Ed Carpenter Racing 66
26 22 Dreyer and Reinbold 57
27 33 KV Racing Technology 34
28 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 29
29 68 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing 28
30 6 KV Racing Technology 22
31 63 Dale Coyne Racing 21
32 41 A.J. Foyt Racing 18
33 91 Lazier Partners Racing 11

Finishing Average
1 Helio Castroneves 5.38
T2 Kurt Busch 6.00
T2 Will Power 6.00
4 Simon Pagenaud 6.92
5 Sage Karam 9.00
6 Scott Dixon 9.61
7 J.R. Hildebrand 10.00
8 Tony Kanaan 10.23
9 Ryan Hunter-Reay 10.38
T10 Juan Pablo Montoya 11.15
T10 Sebastien Bourdais 11.15
12 Ryan Briscoe 11.38
13 Justin Wilson 11.92
14 Carlos Munoz 12.00
15 James Hinchcliffe 12.46
16 Oriol Servia 12.5
17 Marco Andretti 12.69
18 Ed Carpenter 12.75
19 Alex Tagliani 13.0
20 Charlie Kimball 13.23
21 Takuma Sato 13.46
22 Mikhail Aleshin 13.61
23 Jacques Villeneuve 14.0
24 Mike Conway 14.66
25 Graham Rahal 15.0
26 James Davison 16.0
27 Carlos Huertas 16.07
28 Josef Newgarden 16.92
29 Sebastian Saavedra 17.0
30 Jack Hawksworth 17.16
31 Luca Filippi 18.50
32 Martin Plowman 20.5
33 Franck Montagny 22.0
34 Pippa Mann 24.0
35 Townsend Bell 25.0
36 Buddy Lazier 32.0

Pole Positions
T1 Takuma Sato 2
T1 Will Power 2
T1 Helio Castroneves 2
T4 Ryan Hunter-Reay 1
T4 Sebastian Saavedra 1
T4 Ed Carpenter 1
T4 Simon Pagenaud 1
T4 Juan Pablo Montoya 1
T4 Scott Dixon 1
T4 Sebastien Bourdais 1

Appearances in the Firestone Fast Six
1 Ryan Hunter-Reay 5
T2 Helio Castroneves 4
T2 Will Power 4
T3 James Hinchcliffe 3
T3 Scott Dixon 3
T3 Jack Hawksworth 3
T7 Simon Pagenaud 2
T7 Josef Newgarden 2
T7 Tony Kanaan 2
T7 Sebastien Bourdais 2
T11 Takuma Sato 1
T11 Marco Andretti 1
T11 Sebastian Saavedra 1
T11 Mike Conway 1
T11 Juan Pablo Montoya 1
T11 Ryan Briscoe 1
T11 Luca Filippi 1

Qualifying Average
1 Helio Castroneves 5.53
2 James Hinchcliffe 6.90
3 Ed Carpenter 7.00
4 Luca Filippi 7.66
5 Simon Pagenaud 7.69
6 Will Power 7.76
7 Scott Dixon 8.84
8 J.R. Hildebrand 9.00
9 Sebastien Bourdais 9.76
10 Carlos Munoz 10.3
11 Tony Kanaan 10.53
12 Ryan Hunter-Reay 10.61
13 Juan Pablo Montoya 10.84
14 Takuma Sato 11.69
15 Kurt Busch 12.0
16 Marco Andretti 12.61
T17 Josef Newgarden 12.92
T17 Ryan Briscoe 12.92
19 Justin Wilson 13.0
20 Jack Hawksworth 14.5
21 Mike Conway 14.66
22 Mikhail Aleshin 14.84
23 Graham Rahal 15.38
24 Sebastian Saavedra 16.53
25 Charlie Kimball 17.15
26 Carlos Huertas 17.84
27 Franck Montagny 21.0
28 Pippa Mann 22.0
29 Alex Tagliani 24.0
30 Martin Plowman 24.5
31 Townsend Bell 25.0
32 Jacques Villeneuve 27.0
33 James Davison 28.0
34 Sage Karam 31.0
35 Buddy Lazier 33.0
Resurgent 500 Remains Pinnacle of Auto Racing

by Stephen Cox
Monday, May 28, 2012


Marco Andretti
If there was ever any doubt that the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race is still the Mt. Everest of motorsports, it is gone after today's record-breaking event. Yes, I have a few gripes about the DW-12 chassis and the lame, new re-start procedures. We'll get to those in a moment. But the race itself was a sight to behold.

Here are my random thoughts on this year's Greatest Spectacle in Racing:

I really thought that Marco Andretti was going to run off with this race, but he was the victim of an ill-timed yellow flag that put him at the back of the pack. This set off a chain of utterly predictable events that began with Marco driving hard to make up lost ground, then crashing, and then blaming someone else.

This time the alleged perpetrator was Oriol Servia in the Mecum Auctions car, who had the gall to race Andretti side by side into a turn. The nerve of that guy. He must have thought he was in an automobile race.

The DW-12 chassis still exhibits the same basic characteristics it's always had. It understeers into the turn and oversteers on exit. Some people say this is a bad thing. I say it's not. Who wants a car that is perfectly balanced for everyone all the time? Yawn. We're already stuck with underpowered spec cars with hand clutches. They should at least be a little challenging to drive.

New record today for the most passes for the lead in the history of the Indy 500. The fans loved it. The roar from the stands when Tony Kanaan took the lead late in the race was astounding.

A fantastic crowd showed up and the stands were over 90% full even along the backstretch and into Turn 3. I spent most of the race at the entry to Turn 4. The fans were abundant and rabidly enthusiastic despite soaring temperatures.

During the darkest days of The Split, the hard-core race fans still showed up while the Indy 500-only fans stayed home. They were the fans that didn't attend any other race and only showed up to attend the biggest show on earth. But now they're back. Big time.

The Lotus cars should not have been black flagged early in the race for being “too slow.” We don't need a 105% rule to artificially eliminate anyone who doesn't race in the same speed bracket as the leader. It's redundant.

We already have a “fastest 33 cars” rule. It makes no difference how fast the leader is, how slow the final qualifier may be, or the difference in speed between them. The fastest 33 cars race. Everyone else goes home. That is our “105% rule” and we don't need another one. The Lotus cars earned their way into the race and that's that. Black-flagging them ruins the spirit of auto racing.

Besides, the whole field was running at nearly identical speeds at Las Vegas in 2011 and we all know how that turned out. Watch what you wish for.

The restarts were wild
The new rule mandating that the pace car remain on the track until seconds before the green flag comes out (instead of pulling into the pits one lap before going green) is a disaster. The leader would invariably wait as directed for the green flag before accelerating, while everyone behind him got caught up in the “accordion effect” and squirmed all over the track to avoid rear-ending the car in front. It was a mess. For the first 180 laps of the race, the front-runner lost the lead and shuffled back three or four positions almost without exception.

This is yet another example of the series creating more problems than it solves by over-regulating the race. The decision as to when and where to begin accelerating belongs to the leader, and to him alone. Get the pace car off the track and let the leader do his job.

Hinchcliffe leads Andretti
James Hinchcliffe consistently used up more racetrack than anyone else, drifting within a few inches of the wall when exiting Turns 2 and 4. This means 1) he's a BFS (Big Freaking Stud) who's not afraid of a concrete wall, 2) his team trusts him enough to strip the downforce out of his car and leave the race in his hands, and 3) Hinch is probably as good as advertised (which is not to be taken for granted).

I told you after the season opener at St. Pete that Takuma Sato was going to win a race in this series sooner than you think. It should have happened today. Taku was smoking fast and drove extremely well.

Dario took Sato to the inside and ruined his line.  It was risky.  Sato could have spun and taken them both out
On the final lap of the race, Dario Franchitti blocked Sato nearly to the inside wall as they headed for their race-deciding crash. By the time Dario moved slightly back toward the middle of the track to save face, Sato’s line was ruined. A terrible entry angle on the upcoming corner left him with no chance of completing the pass and making it through the turn.

In Dario's defense, the Indy 500 is the world's biggest stage and second place counts for nothing.

And let's face it... the odds of Dario drawing a blocking penalty on the last lap at Indy were roughly the same as Michael Jordan's chances of being called for an offensive foul in the NBA finals.

That'll be the day.

For his part, Sato had worked for three laps to set up that pass attempt. It was the last lap of the world's greatest auto race. Yes, he had to try. If his car had stuck through the corner – and it nearly did – he was going to win the Indy 500. If he had lifted to avoid any risk, he'd never have gotten another shot at passing Dario in the remaining three turns. Sato did the right thing. Sato did the only thing.

Dario's move was questionable at best. Then again, he hasn’t won three bottles of milk by pulling over.

It is amazing how quiet these new Indycars really are. The oval tracks are generally a bit louder than the natural-terrain road courses, yet I could sit ten rows from the track surface in the north short chute without earplugs and carry on a conversation with my two sons who sat beside me.

And now, here is “Stephen's Most Noble and Righteous BFS List” for the 2012 Indy 500. The winners are:

Dario Franchitti
• Dario Franchitti, who drove from 16th to 1st. That's not an easy trick even for a guy who has the best ride in the field. Three Indy wins, four series titles and Ashley Judd. Must be living right.

• Ed Carpenter, who drove from 28th to 3rd despite a broken nosepiece that badly unbalanced his racecar. Instead of backing off, Carpenter earned a permanent BFSB (Big Freaking Stud Badge) by hammering the throttle and passing his way into the top five with a wildly loose racecar until it finally gave up and spun. He nearly won the bloody race. Please note that this particular BFSB is a lifetime award.

Oriol Servia
• Oriol Servia, who drove from 27th on the grid to 4th. He didn’t have the best car, his Mecum Auctions sponsorship didn’t come through until 3 days before the race, and he had no experience with his new Chevy engine. But he hustled the car through traffic over the last 20 laps and worked his way to a Top 5 finish. That’s studly.

• Takuma Sato, who chose to crash rather than lift and give up his chance to win auto racing’s biggest prize. At the moment of truth, Taku didn’t blink. I like a guy who swings for the fence.

Okay, busy week coming up. An exciting new announcement coming from Sopwith Motorsports Television Productions this week along with a visit with the new owners at Bloomington Speedway. Then I hit the road on Friday for a weekend Super Cup race at West Virginia's Ona Speedway.

I'll tell you all about it when I get back. Have a great week and wish me luck.

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